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Chicago with Kids- where to stay and what to do?

Thinking of coming into Chicago via Amtrak for 2 days later this summer with grandsons ages 8 & 11. Need suggestions for activities and places to stay near same. 

6 Answers

top answer by
Lauren from Chicago


Museum of Science and IndustryShedd Aquarium, and Field Museum of Natural History would all be great options for your grandsons, tons of great stuff to do at each with kids!  You'll find the Chicago Children's Museum at Navy Pier and you could easily spend quite a bit of time there as well. You could also take them to the Willis Tower if they're up for a bit of a thrill and not afraid of heights!

Not sure what your budget is for a place to stay, but Chicago Union Station Main Entrance is right near the loop and within walking distance of many hotels. I know there is a La Quinta Inn & Suites Chicago Downtown that would probably be at the lowest of the price points in the area, but there are other great hotels like JW Marriott ChicagoW Chicago - City Center, and many more. 

Let me know if you're in need of any more specific recommendations!

3 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Mary Beth from Northbrook

Summer with kids in the city is great.  The Amtrak station is downtown.  Find a hotel east of the train station such as The Palmer House .  While not a children focused hotel it is 2 blocks from Millenium Park and the new Children's Park on the lakefront.  Both are destinations you shouldn't miss.  I'm sure the kids will love both and they are free.You can also get to Navy Pier easily from there.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. The Palmer House (attraction)
  2. Millenium Park (attraction)
  3. Navy Pier (attraction)

answered by
Lori from Holland, Michigan

You have to go to the Maggie Daley Park! I took my son there and we spent an hour on the slides, could have done more. You'll see kids of all ages there, and its free! They'll love the fountains and the bean at Millennium Park as well. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Maggie Daley Park (attraction)
  2. Millennium Park (attraction)

answered by
Dabs from Chicago

The others have hit on most of the usual suggestions, with 2 days the Museum of Science and Industry might require a bit more time than you want to spend and I'd also mention that it's not in the city center so it takes up most of a day but it's a great museum.  The Shedd Aquarium is wonderful, you can do anything from a general admission ticket to see the main part of the aquarium for a shorter visit or one of the pricier options that includes different parts.  The Lincoln Park Zoo is nice because it's free and a short bus or el ride from downtown, the Brookfield Zoo is the nicer of the two zoos but will require a train ride into the suburbs.

Millennium Park is nice to visit, there's the bean where you can take some interesting reflective photos, there's the Crown Fountain which kids love to play in and I'm not sure what's they've put in Maggie Daley Park but there was a lot of stuff that was supposed to open in the spring.  This park and Millennium Park are right next to one another.

Lots of other ideas on this link

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Museum of Science and Industry (attraction)
  2. Shedd Aquarium (attraction)
  3. Lincoln Park Zoo (attraction)
  4. Brookfield Zoo (attraction)
  5. Millennium Park (attraction)
  6. Crown Fountain (attraction)
  7. Maggie Daley Park (attraction)

answered by
Peter from Chicago

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Great America Pkwy (attraction)
  2. Chicago (city)
  3. Lincoln Park Zoo (attraction)

answered by
Jill from Bolingbrook

All of Lauren's suggestions are great! We also have two baseball teams ( U.S. Cellular Field and Wrigley Field)  if they grandkids are into sports, both just a cab drive away. Also, the Lincoln Park Zoo and North Avenue Beach are in the Lincoln Park neighborhood. If you feel like a train ride out to the suburbs, the Brookfield Zoo is one of the best in the country. Tons of food and shopping along Michigan Avenue. Enjoy!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. U.S. Cellular Field (attraction)
  2. Wrigley Field (attraction)
  3. Lincoln Park Zoo (attraction)
  4. North Avenue Beach (attraction)
  5. Brookfield Zoo (attraction)
  6. Michigan Avenue (attraction)

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